Located on the southeastern side of Florida, Pompano Beach sits along the Atlantic Ocean where there are many barrier islands that feature sounds, bays, rivers and bayou with fresh water on one side and the ocean on the other. Charter companies take tourists out on the water to watch the aquatic life and to spend a day deep-sea fishing. Pompano Beach vacation rentals line the beaches and are located throughout the city, perfect for a weekend or weeklong getaway. Here’s a guide to the top 10 Pompano Beach neighborhoods and nearby towns to help you decide.

1. Pompano Beach

clouds during sunset
Source: Flickr / John Spade

Enjoy days filled with the sunshine on the beach while your kids play in the surf, fly a kite and collect seashells. With a vacation rental on the beach, you can get up each morning and have breakfast on the deck or balcony watching the surf crash along the edge of the beach. Test your family’s ability to solve problems and riddles at QQuest Escape Games, where they lock you in a room and you solve puzzles to find an escape route.

2. Kendall Green Neighborhood

cottage and trees
Source: Flickr / John Spade

A little north of the downtown area of Pompano Beach and west of the beach sits the residential neighborhood, where you and your family can settle into a comfortable family home and stroll along the tree-lined streets in the evening. Rent bikes and explore the area, stopping at one of the local restaurants or cafes for lunch. Hop in the car and drive the short distance to Pompano Citi Centre for some retail therapy in your favorite stores.

3. Pompano Beach Highlands Neighborhood

fishing rods
Source: Flickr / Alan Kotok

Just a few minutes north of the downtown area, Pompano Beach Highlands neighborhood offers your family another quiet residential area to make your home base. Enjoy the peace and quiet away from the main tourist crowds, while still close enough to drive to the beach for a day of swimming, surfing, and paddle boarding on the ocean or visit the pier for a day of fishing. Several local restaurants offer casual dining so you can avoid cooking each meal and enjoy some time eating out as a family.

4. Lighthouse Point

boats resting at the canal
Source: Flickr / Ethan Oringel

Up the coast to the north of Pompano Beach sits the coastal community of Lighthouse Point that rests on the shoreline of the sound. Choose a waterfront condo or home to spend your days fishing, kayaking and canoeing. Visit one of the local outfitters to rent a boat to head out on the water or jet skis to enjoy a day of thrills. In the evenings, take the kids to Frank McDonough Park to play on the playground equipment while you stretch your legs with a walk around the park.

5. Sea Ranch Lakes

foot prints on the sand
Source: Flickr / RichardBH

Turn southward and move out on to one of the barrier islands to find the welcoming beach community of Sea Ranch Lakes with the sound on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. Dress up and make reservations for dinner at the elegant Sea Watch on the Ocean Restaurant with its stunning views of the ocean. If you have your dive certification, take a tour out to the SS Copenhagen Underwater Archaeological Preserve to dive the wreck.

6. Lauderdale-By-The-Sea

iron bell
Source: Flickr / Ruth Hara

Choose between a vacation rental along the sound or the ocean when you stay in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea just south of Pompano Beach. Visit Hillsboro Inlet for a day of playing on the beach, swimming in the ocean, and boating on the water. Before leaving, make sure to take a walk out to the Hillsboro Inlet Light, an active lighthouse, to take the tour and check out the small museum that details the history of this lighthouse built at the beginning of the 20th century.

7. Coral Ridge

high waves rushing to the shore
Source: Flickr / John Spade

Stay in style in the upscale beach community of Coral Ridge. While away the days on the beach, playing volleyball, collecting shells, and burying your kids up to their necks in sand. For the golf lover, there is the Coral Ridge Country Club to get out and play 18 holes in a beautiful tropical setting. Walk around the downtown area, window shopping, looking in the art galleries, and enjoying a gourmet meal at one of the restaurants.

8. Fort Lauderdale

blue sea and sky
Source: Flickr / epitomized1

Fort Lauderdale offers you and your family all the excitement of a city with a beach attached to it. This area offers vacation rentals along the beach and in the downtown area with all the amenities. Put on your walking shoes and make your way along Las Olas Boulevard. This popular street runs through the area offering tons of trendy shopping, amazing views, and your choice of places to stop for a drink or snack to keep your energy up.

9. Hillsboro Beach

people at the pier
Source: Flickr / Bob B. Brown

Hillsboro Beach sits north of Pompano Beach on one of Florida’s barrier island. When staying here, it’s all about the water with the sound on one side and the ocean on the other. Choose to spend the day on the beach, chasing the surf, flying a kite, or building sand castles. On the sound side, enjoy a day of fishing, kayaking, or canoeing. Contact one of the charter companies and take a ride out on the ocean for deep-sea fishing.

10. Deerfield Beach

people gathered at the beach
Source: Flickr / dcwriterdawn

Another town that’s just a few minutes north of Pompano Beach is Deerfield Beach. When you get tired of sand between your toes, take the kids to Splash Adventure Water Park. This water pool offers spraying fountains and obstacles set in a shallow pool. At Deerfield Island Park. You and your family can go hiking through the mangrove and marshes.